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Hyperbole, yes. Dangerous? Possibly. May 3, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Got to say that Theresa May’s rhetoric about the EU on the UK General Election campaign trail isn’t of the sort that would inspire confidence. Check this out:

Strikingly, the Prime Minister toughened her language on the stance of other EU leaders, in response to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s criticism of UK reluctance to face the reality of Brexit.
“She says the UK has ‘illusions’ about the process and that the 27 member states of the European Union agree,” Ms May said. “We can see how tough those negotiations are going to be at times.
”Yet our opponents are already seeking to disrupt those negotiations – at the same time as 27 other European countries line up to oppose us.”

‘Line up to oppose us’?

Who pray tell is leaving the European Union? It’s not the 27. And by the by isn’t one of those 27 her bestest friends for ever (or political equivalent), that being our own fair state?

It seems to me that May is a uniquely disingenuous politician in a time when we’ve more than enough examples of same. She appears to have no constraints on her rhetoric or have any sense that rhetoric has effect above and beyond the immediate audience she is talking to.

I suppose one shouldn’t be too surprised given that it was on her watch at the Home Office that the infamous trucks with anti-illegal immigrant posters were sent out and about.

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1. simonjkyte - May 3, 2017

Merkel and Junker are being extremely unhelpful though. I don’t think they quite get just how much they are strengthening her hand for June 8th.

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Joe - May 3, 2017

Yes that’s it. It’s all about the UK General Election. The more she ‘sticks it to the EU’ and the more they stick it back to her, the more votes she’ll get.
And it’s working for her and will work.
But all anyone can do is wait till after the election. Assuming she’ll be back in with a decent majority, we’ll then see the real UK approach to the negotiations. Without it being part of an election campaign, they can get down to it in a serious and realistic way.
Vote Labour, btw.

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simonjkyte - May 3, 2017

LOL I am not sure she will actually get the sort of 150-200 seat majority so many people are predicting. Unlike in Parliament where (objectively) she actually performs confidently she is weakest when she is out and about meeting people. She evidently doesn’t like this. But even say 50 would be ‘decent majority’. I suspect she won’t soften her line very much actually if at all.

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2. CL - May 3, 2017

Britain’s Brexit Minister David Davis said ” “The idea that somehow one side of the negotiation can dictate how the other side runs a negotiation is laughable.”

“senior EU sources have warned that negotiators on both sides will be unable to get into the detail of the Irish issues while there is no functioning government in Belfast….
Negotiators will also be hindered by the fact that the most difficult issues, such as trade and the transit of goods across the border and through the UK to continental Europe, depend on what kind of future arrangement the UK has with the EU.”
http://www.rte.ie/news/europe/2017/0503/872120-brexit-eu/

The ‘future arrangement the UK has with the Eu’ will only be settled after Brexit is complete, so the lack of a government in NI is not that critical.

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Paddy Healy - May 3, 2017

“senior EU sources have warned that negotiators on both sides will be unable to get into the detail of the Irish issues while there is no functioning government in Belfast….This statement was almost certainly prompted by Dublin. The Stormont executive is not a government-merely a UK regional administration.
The real problem for the Irish people, north and south, is that the Dublin Government is a “push-over” for the EU. The capitulation of Dublin on its own demand for “burden-Sharing” in the bail-out of big banking investors and the Dublin support for the grossly unequal EU Fiscal Treaty has left the EU in no doubt that it has a poodle in Dublin. The Italian governments on the other hand is refusing to bail-in its pension funds in Italian banks, is way behind in reducing its debt and is borrowing more in contravention of EU Treaty

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3. Paddy Healy - May 3, 2017

The language of top EU reps is designed to provoke the Brits-Theyare “delusional”-private conversations leaked etc! Why should EU reps be concerned whether she gets a big majority or not?
Britain cannot get a better deal than full membership of EU while retaining access to the single EU market. Otherwise the Spanish, the Italians etc would want it as well and the EU would break up.? Unless the EU breaks up I cannot see Brexit happening. A large sophisticated capitalist economy such as Britain cannot survive without access to a marketof 500 million people on its door-step. The British empire cannot be re-invented. The dilemmas facing all sides are a symptom of a growing world capitalist crisis. If the growth of the world cake stalls, the vultures have to start eating each other to survive!

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Liberius - May 3, 2017

The language of top EU reps is designed to provoke the Brits-Theyare “delusional”-private conversations leaked etc!

In that case wouldn’t they have leaked the stuff to an English-language newspaper rather than a German one? Leaving it to amateur translators on twitter is a strange way get your point across.

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Paddy Healy - May 3, 2017

Their confidantes are likely to be in the newspapers of their own coutries. Language barriers are not significant barrier to dissemination these days.

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Liberius - May 3, 2017

As much as that sounds a plausible case, do you not think that it’s a bit excessive to be that oblique when it could be less so? There are 27 other member states, so not everything is going to be aimed at Britain, expectation management on the EU27 side is important as well; at a bear minimum that is equally plausible compared to the grandiose Machiavellianism of influencing the UK elections through the medium of FAZ.

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Liberius - May 3, 2017

…bare minimum…

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ivorthorne - May 5, 2017

Ah here Paddy! They’ve leaked stuff to British papers before. They don’t lack for confidantes.

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Joe - May 3, 2017

“A large sophisticated capitalist economy such as Britain cannot survive without access to a market of 500 million people on its door-step.”
But Brexit isn’t about having that access or not having that access. It’s about under what conditions (what tariffs etc going both ways) each will have access to each other’s markets.

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Paddy Healy - May 3, 2017

The extent of tariffs and other obstacles to trade can ammount to extremely limited access to a market. The point is that while extremely limited or very disadvantageous access to the European market would be near fatal to the UK the reverse, extremely limited access to the British market, would be not be nearly so fatal to the EU 27. UK has very weak bargaining power unless it can get another significant dissafected player such as Italy to join with it.

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Paddy Healy - May 7, 2017

Prof Colm McCarthy, Irish Independent, 07/05/2017
(Mrs May Ruled out Remaining in Single market)
“to this has been added the gratuitous decision , now almost irrevocable to leave the customs union. This second leg in the capitulation (to Brexiteers) is meant to facilitate the conduct by the UK of free trade deals with the whole wide world, presumed to compensate for any lost trade in Europe—
There is no reputable economic research outfit to my knowledge which shares this assessment. Britain will lose trade access in Europe and will not make up the loss elsewhere, according to a succession of detailed studies.

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Paddy Healy - May 7, 2017

Colm McCarthy uses the term “trade access” but not ALL trade access. He probably should have used the term “market penetration” rather than “trade access”.

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4. Paddy Healy - May 3, 2017

BTW social democracy is collapsing all over Europe. Corbyn in trouble, SP candidate Hamon got 6.5% in French election, Irish Labour nowhere! French polls giving Le Pen 40% of the vote! Remember Hitler in the thirties!!!

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ivorthorne - May 5, 2017

You’re not wrong but in each of those examples, there are additional factors at play. It’s not the traditional social democratic policies of Corbyn etc. lack popularity but his credibility Vis shot. Irish Labour made gains with social democratic promises but they’re being punished because they abandoned those promises

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5. irishelectionliterature - May 3, 2017

EU Figures trying to influence the UK election according to May ….

In the past few days we have seen just how tough these talks are likely to be. Britain’s negotiating position in Europe has been misrepresented in the continental press. The European commission’s negotiating stance has hardened. Threats against Britain have been issued by European politicians and officials. All of these acts have been deliberately timed to affect the result of the general election that will take place on 8 June.

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Paddy Healy - May 3, 2017

It seems to me that EU reps are trying to help May to get a big majority. A row with foreigners has always been a winning card for British imperialists in elections. Tusk, Barnier, Merkel know that very well!

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CL - May 3, 2017

Yes, the EU would like to strengthen May’s political position ahead of the negotiations.

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Paddy Healy - May 3, 2017

Correct!

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nollaigoj - May 4, 2017

Agreed Paddy!

So what’s that telling us about the level of political class consciousness of the working class in England and Wales?!

I live in Camden London and it’s quiet depressing finding the number of friends of mine from traditional Labour voting, London Irish working class families who are going to vote for “Mrs. May” in the coming election.

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GW - May 4, 2017

See my comment below – the calculation is probably that a stronger May government will serve to minimise the damage.

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ivorthorne - May 5, 2017

In reality, I think the EU would rank a stronger May somewhere in the middle of a list of outcomes. A stronger May could replace some members of the Brexit trio who are hampering the negotiations and the further away an election, the more likely it is the Tories will opt for a softer Brexit.

The Tories have been driven to extremes by the electoral threat of UKIP. Farage would take any softening of the negotiation position as evidence of “betrayal” and an attempt to undermine “the will of the people”. After an election when May’s minions’ seats are safe for another few years, that is less of a concern.

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6. CL - May 3, 2017

“Speaking after a Sinn Féin Women’s Forum in west Belfast Mary Lou McDonald told reporters in order to protect society, the economy and jobs it was essential that special designated status for the North within the EU is secured.
Ms McDonald described the attainment of this as “a win for everybody”.
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/recognition-for-route-to-irish-unity-welcomed-by-mcdonald-1.3066662

It would be if it happened, but it hasn’t.

“Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has challenged the Government to explain why it is not seeking a special status for Northern Ireland in the Brexit negotiations.”
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/oireachtas/adams-challenges-government-on-ni-status-in-brexit-talks-1.3069981

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7. CL - May 3, 2017

“Theresa May has formally launched her election campaign with an attack on “European politicians and officials”, whom she accused of threatening Britain and trying to sabotage her attempt to win re-election….
Standing on the steps of Number 10, Mrs May set out to inflame Brexit tensions, claiming that events of recent days showed that “there are some in Brussels who do not want these talks to succeed”.
On Tuesday Mrs May said that Mr Juncker would soon find out that she was a “bloody difficult woman”
https://www.ft.com/content/a82cfaac-3010-11e7-9555-23ef563ecf9a

““By winding up the public confrontation with Brussels, the Prime Minister wants to wrap the Conservative party in the Union Jack and distract attention from her government’s economic failure and rundown of our public services,” said Corbyn.
“We’ve had seven years of austerity in Britain, we have more people sleeping on the streets than for decades, we have six million people in jobs that pay less than the minimum wage,” Mr Corbyn said.
http://www.itv.com/news/2017-05-03/parliament-dissolved-ahead-of-general-election-2017/

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Paddy Healy - May 3, 2017

The problem with Corbyn is not with what he says. The statement quoted is clearly correct. The fact is that particularly in the UK and France the situation is away beyond staements. Actions are needed. When significant sections of the poor are drawn to Farage and Le Pen, mobilisation against austerity-not just talk , is required. Demonstrations and strikes against Tory cuts is what is required. Talk is cheap.

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CL - May 3, 2017

Tomorrow’s local elections in some areas of Britain have been upstaged by the brouhaha over Brexit.

“Nearly 5 000 local authority seats are being contested across Britain on Thursday, while six new mayoralties are also up for grabs….
“Whatever is happening to Labour, that story will be told in Nottinghamshire.”…
six urban areas will be electing mayors for the first time, including Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and the West Midlands, centred on Birmingham.

Labour former health minister Andy Burnham is expected to win in Manchester, while the Conservatives hope Andy Street, who ran the upmarket department store chain John Lewis, can win in the West Midlands.”
http://www.news24.com/World/News/uk-local-polls-prepare-general-election-battleground-20170502

.

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8. GW - May 4, 2017

From the point of view of the EU Brexit is a negative-sum game. Their priorities are:

1) To minimise the size of the negative sum and

2) Ensure that the Brits bear most of the negative sum.

There is probably more than a hint of

3) Get shot of the Brits ASAP.

A largeish Tory Majority may well favour 1) by giving May room to overrule the fully UKIP elements in the Tory party. 2) might be better with a Corbyn government but that’s not going to happen. And 3) is better served by May.

Of course from a class point of view the people who are going to bear the negative costs are the (mainly British) working class, in terms of wage cuts, loss of employment protection legislation, loss of environmental protection legislation etc. etc.

The British point of view remains stuck somewhere in 1941 so the size of the negative sum may well be large anyhow.

But wait, no – The Men who Know have told us that the Tories will splinter into a thousand pieces as a result of Brexit. That’s all right then.

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GW - May 4, 2017

I left out the following important goals for the EU during the farce:

4) unite the remaining 27 through the Brexit negotiations.

Tory intransigence over the divorce bill is doing wonders in this regard.

5) Discourage others from leaving.

We’ll see on on that one, but so far the action has favoured the EU.

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9. irishelectionliterature - May 4, 2017

We’ve just over a month to go to the election ….. God knows what height the anti Brussels jingoism from May will have reached by then.

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10. GW - May 4, 2017

I wonder how far the ‘Brexit leader against Eurocrats ganging up on guileless honest-dealing John Bull’ shtick is going to get her. Through the entire election?

Quite possibly, given the British MSM. PiS in Poland and Orban in Hungary have made a not-so-USP out of national victimisation and that will run and run.

Sighs.

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11. Paddy Healy - May 5, 2017

The defeat of the Labour Party in the British local elections underlines the problems for social democracy to-day. This follows the virtual electoral wipe-out of social democracy in the French Presidenial Election. The problem for social democracy is not the leaderships of Corbyn or Hollande. Social democracy thrives in strong capitalistic countries when genuine reforms can be gained through parliament.
In a growing world capitalist crisis this is not the case. This causes a huge crisis in the social democratic party concerned including big differences. The social democratic coalition (the poor, trade union leaderships, genuine trade unionists,progressive intelligentsia, reforming capialists etc) tends to explode. The poor lose confidence in the party and some can be attracted to fascists and the populist right. It happened in Germany after 1924. It is happening again!

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Paddy Healy - May 5, 2017

Just to add-The Tories have effectively absorbed a large part of the electoral support for UKIP by “stealing UKIP clothes” helped by a “straight vote”(not PR) electoral sysem. But this could be temporary. UKIP is in ambush position if Tories u-turn on Brexit.

Millions of Labour Part supporters have, of course, remained loyal to Labour but many also abstained, particularly, in big cities. But unless some significant sections of the left, Labour Party and the trade unions actually call workers into action (strikes, demonstrations, boycotts etc) this support can drain away

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Paddy Healy - May 5, 2017

The election in Scotland9(alone) is under the Proporional Representation system

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CL - May 5, 2017

The absorption of social democracy by neoliberalism precedes the current crisis; it has been underway since the last century.

“The debate over the Third Way was always, fundamentally, a battle of ideas that played out against the backdrop of massive political and economic change. Reagan and Thatcher had unhesitatingly acted to extend and shape the global economy in a neoliberal direction following the crisis of Keynesianism. In the 1980s, the New Right, in true Gramscian style, was already consolidating its own historic bloc and the Third Way eventually emerged as a part of it.”
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/02/atkins-dlc-third-way-clinton-blair-schroeder-social-democracy/

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12. Paddy Healy - May 5, 2017

Have the Socialist Party or The Socialist Workers Party or the Communist Partie(s) elected any councillor at all? How did their candidates perform? SHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

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Paddy Healy - May 5, 2017

Check here
Results reporting
All the TUSC(Socialist Party+ RMT Union+others) results will be published on the TUSC website. Many councils have cut back on overtime for election staff and are not beginning their counts until Friday morning. So not all results will be available until the weekend but regular updates will be posted from Friday afternoon onwards. http://www.tusc.org.uk/
TUSC: Socialist Workers Party suspends its participation in TUSC Election Campaign in England and Wales (But not in Scotland) March 2017

TUSC is only standing against anti-Corbyn Labour candidates

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Paddy Healy - May 5, 2017

metro.co.UK
“The Communist Party of Britain has urged its voters to support Labour in the election as it confirmed it would field no candidates for the first time in its history.
General secretary Robert Griffiths said a Labour victory would be an ‘essential first step’ towards a left-wing UK government.
With 275 votes in 2015 it is unlikely the extra votes will make much difference to Labour’s chances in less than two months time.”

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